Some advice on goalkeeper clock management from Dan Blank’s new book, Soccer IQ, for anyone perplexed by the recent “controversial” call in the USA v. Canada Women’s Olympic soccer match: If there’s one thing that drives me mental, writes Blank, a Georgia Bulldog coach, it’s when my goalkeeper picks up the ball and tries to milk the clock to preserve a one-goal lead. Once that ball is in your hands, make sure it’s on its way back down the field in six seconds. Don’t give the referee an excuse to award your opponent a free-kick from inside your 18. It’s just not worth it. I’d rather leave two or three more seconds on the clock than give away that free-kick. Get your punt away and put your trust in your teammates to close out the game.
For goalkeepers the time to kill clock is before you have the ball in your hands. Use your feet to control nonthreatening balls that roll into your 18. Find ways to avoid the ball-shaggers when the ball goes out for goal kicks. This is your chance to knock fifteen or more seconds off the game clock. Instead of chasing the ball when it rolls across your endline, go the opposite way. Run to the top of the 18 and shout at your defender for some mistake they did or didn’t make. For the love of Pete, don’t be in a hurry to get your hands on the ball.